Mayor Patricia de Lille’s announcement of the City of Cape Town’s draft budget for the coming financial year brought good news for beleaguered commuters from the Cape flats. The IRT is set to be expanded to include key routes to Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, which will effectively service between 75 and 80% of the city’s commuters.The Cape Town Partnership applauded the announcement as a significant step towards greater integration and inclusivity in Cape Town. “In order to make Cape Town a more liveable city, it must be able to provide its citizens with an urban system that contributes to their physical, social and mental wellbeing. Safe, reliable transport is a cornerstone of this system,” said Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, MD at the Cape Town Partnership.
Bulelwa pointed out that the expansion of the IRT is a legacy of the 2010 World Cup, which fast-tracked the creation and expansion of Cape Town’s infrastructure. She believes the new routes will also have a positive economic spin-off for the central city as a result of increased ease of access between the city and its surrounds and also by making the centre of town an ever-more attractive node for businesses to create an exciting urban working environment for its employees.
The move also speaks to some of the core outcomes of the Cape Town Partnership’s Central City Development Strategy. The CCDS was born in 2008 to create a ten-year vision for Cape Town’s Central City as a premier business location, recognised globally for its high quality, sustainable urban environment and as a popular destination for Capetonians and visitors alike; a place that embodies the heart and soul of Cape Town.
In other good news from the draft budget, the City of Cape Town has set aside R 83-million to address non-motorised transport such as pedestrian routes and cycle lanes. The Cape Town Partnership has pointed out that as the city expands and becomes more populated, solutions to decreasing the use of carbon-emission vehicles will be absolutely critical to reduce congestion and pollution.
“Compiling the bid to be a World Design Capital has been integral to understanding a new vision for Cape Town, one which sees the design process as a means for transforming lives by reconnecting infrastructural development with the rebuilding of social cohesion. By addressing our transport problems we are moving closer to growing a common vision for Cape Town as an inclusive, innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable African city – a city poised to make an impact economically and socially,” said Bulelwa.